If you are planning to breastfeed your little one, you’ll want to be comfortable while doing it! Be prepared with this list of the best breastfeeding positions for you and your baby.
When I had my first daughter, I thought that breastfeeding would feel so natural that I wouldn’t need to do anything to prepare. My doctor even had me take a Breastfeeding 101 class and I remember thinking it couldn’t possibly be that complex. Boy was I wrong!
But even though I was in over my head, I did get the hang of it and so will you! Our bodies were made to do this… even if it takes a little bit of practice!
One of the biggest realizations I had was that as a new mom you spend SO much time breastfeeding. If I didn’t get in a good spot I would end up being so uncomfortable! Even in my big comfy nursery recliner, I still found myself struggling to find ways to hold my baby.
But after successfully nursing my sweet girl for over a year, I eventually found the best breastfeeding positions for both of us! Using these positions are life-changing! So I’ve put together a list of all my favorite comfy positions to share with you to help you on your breastfeeding journey.
Are Breastfeeding Positions Important?
I’m a firm believer that finding a good set of breastfeeding positions is the key to a successful breastfeeding experience.
First of all, a good position will help you be more relaxed. Even more important in postpartum, the right position can help your body ease into a peaceful nursing experience. It can be the difference between a painful beginning and a natural one!
Even more important, your baby needs to be able to get a good latch to get the nutrition that they need, and getting them in the right spot will guide them there.
And guess what? A good latch also means a more sustainable nursing experience. So if you’ve set a goal for yourself to breastfeed for a certain time, you’ll need to be all set with a few of these comfortable breastfeeding positions.
Pillow vs. No Pillow
Before diving into the positions, a question you might be asking yourself is whether or not you need a breastfeeding pillow. My simple answer? Yes! But not forever.
Breastfeeding pillows can be really helpful, especially at the beginning of your experience. When I was freshly postpartum and trying to heal, I couldn’t live without the My Breast Friend pillow. It gave me the support I desperately needed.
Pillows can be great, but you’ll likely not be using one the whole time you breastfeed or especially when you are breastfeeding in public. So it’s important to find positions that can help you with or without a pillow.
Be sure to find the best breastfeeding pillows for you!
Breastfeeding Positions Newborn Moms Need to Try
This list has breastfeeding positions newborn moms & older baby moms can both use. The great thing about a good position is that it can likely be used for the whole nursing experience.
The best thing for you to do when looking for breastfeeding positions newborn babies will like is to try a few and see what feels best. It might be a bit of a trial-and-error process. But I promise soon enough you’ll find one or two that are perfect for you and your little one.
Also, everyone’s birth experience is different which means you’ll have a unique recovery process. What feels good to you may not feel good to someone else. With a list like this, though, you are sure to find a position that feels great even right after birth!
7 of the Most Comfortable Breastfeeding Positions
Here are the best breastfeeding positions newborn and infant moms will love. Try them out and see which one is the most comfortable for you and your baby!
This is the most commonly used position and probably the one you’ll naturally try first. Simply cradle your baby in one arm with your baby’s head resting on the inside of your elbow, and use the other arm to comfort your baby, help get the latch started, or offer extra support.
This breastfeeding position is especially great for nursing in public. It’s comfortable even without a good supportive chair, and you can be pretty discreet if you want to with your baby in this position.
This position may not be the most comfortable for the first few weeks without a pillow to support because your body will be so tired. But after a month or two it might end up being your go-to position.
Just the opposite of the classic cradle is the cross-cradle. Your supporting arm will stay in the same position, but this time your baby’s head will be on the opposite breast resting on your hand. This frees up your extra arm to help your baby get their mouth positioned perfectly for a good latch.
This position is a lifesaver for breastfeeding newborns. It’s easy to support your baby this way and when you are both still figuring out the nursing process, this position helps set you up for success.
When you’re exhausted with all the nighttime feedings, there is nothing better than the side lay position. Lay on either side and have your baby lie right in front of you and feed on your lower breast while you both relax.
If you think you may fall asleep, it’s always a good idea to set an alarm on your phone to make sure your baby is safe lying next to you. If you have a partner available to help, this is also a great chance to let yourself rest while nursing and have your partner stay awake to keep an eye on your baby.
The football hold can be a great position to try! Imagine a football player holding the ball right next to them in tight, and you’ve got the idea.
Hold your arm parallel to the floor right at your side. Then make a little table for your baby to lie on. Once your baby is secure, they can feed on your breast. If you are healing from a c-section, this position can be much more comfortable than the classic cradle.
It’s also a great position to try with a nursing pillow!
If you like the side lay position, you’ll probably also love the back lay.
Lie on your back and have the baby lay on your belly with you. They can reach their head right up to your breast to feed while you have a chance to relax. Just like the side lay position, though, always make sure someone is awake and alert while your baby is eating.
For a c-section friendly alternative, have the baby lay on their belly still but shift them to the side of your body lying perpendicular to you. That way they can still feed but you free up your belly.
This is a fun one to try! If your little one is strong enough to hold their head up, try having them sit on your lap facing you and feed while sitting!
If you want to try this with a newborn, a similar position is to use a baby carrier or wrap to hold your baby in place while they face you and nurse. I loved doing this with my Infantino convertible carrier.
You don’t want to forget about the dangle feed position. It can really save the day if you are dealing with mastitis or a clogged duct, which most moms will at some point.
There are several ways that you can dangle feed, but the idea is that you will be above your baby as they lie down and let gravity help all that nutritious milk get to your baby. The most common way to do this is to have your baby lay down on a bed while you get on all fours over them.
It’s probably not going to be your go-to but if you do have a clogged duct, a good massage while dangle feeding can usually do the trick.
I hope this list helps you find the perfect breastfeeding position that works for you and your baby! Let us know which positions are your favorite with your little ones!